Detroit Free Press
February 16, 1894
Bishop Ninde and Kananda.
To the Editor of The Detroit Free Press:
In The Free Press of Friday Bishop Ninde offers an explanation by way of apology for having been induced under what he seems to construe as false pretenses, to act as chairman and introduce the Brahmin Monk Kananda to a Unitarian church audience. It would now seem from the tone of his letter, that the good Methodist bishop feels as if he had "fallen from grace," and now repents of the disgrace, as he would probably put it if he expressed his innermost convictions. His acceptance and fulfillment of the duty with such good grace, won much admiration from all liberal minded people, many Christians included. It is lamentable that he did not have the grace and moral courage to let well enough alone, even though his private views conflicted with those of the Brahmin....
Bishop Ninde again errs when he attempts to convey the impression in his letter that he was supposed to be the only man in Detroit who had visited India. He should know that this is simply nonsense. But a few days ago Frederick Stearns gave a lecture in the city upon his travels in India, and the bishop well knows that there are scores of others here who have seen as much of that wonderful country as he has, and the public are not ignorant of that Fact. The writer was present at the first and last lectures of Kananda, and saw the bishop wince and squirm at the mild mannered, though telling rebuke of "Christian" methods and intolerance with not only the alleged heathen, but with different "Christian" denominations, among themselves.... The discourse of [Kananda] was indeed "caustic," as the bishop says, but not "unfriendly," as he further states.... He fails to recognize the liberal, generous and Holy Spirit with which it was conveyed....
The bishop furthermore affirms that whatever social and moral conditions exist in India "have not sprung from impulses within the body of Hindooism, but from the direct and indirect influences of the gospel of Jesus Christ." This the bishop knows to be false if he is versed in ancient history, as he should be. The fundamental morals and virtues of Buddha, Brahma, Confucius and other moral reformers were known long before Christ's coming. Human brotherhood and the godlike in man were taught ages before. If Bishop Ninde is going to the orient as a true missionary he will have to learn the chief lesson of "God in man" before he can truthfully preach the glad tidings of a gospel of peace and love...
O. P. DELDOC.
- www.vivekananda.net edited by Frank Parlato Jr.